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MA Disaster Studies


Duration 2 years (4 Semesters)


Credits 74


Social Science is growing into and developing an understanding of technology and natural science which can bring human safety and sustainable development. This objective requires transdisciplinary interaction, understanding and knowledge. The universe is one holistic habitat for humanity to survive. It may also be man’s last habitat if we continue to allow the magnitude, frequency and recurrence of disasters to increase. In consideration of this objective the Special Centre for Disaster Research aims to build upon an appropriate relationship between social sciences, ICT and geospatial sciences on one hand and between the government and academic research on the other hand.


The objective of teaching and research in disaster studies is to understand how disasters affect development, national resources and human and nonhuman lives. It also highlights the need for ecologically sensitive land use policies through GIS mapping and demarcation of fragile ecological areas. The centre looks into the new areas of information and communication research (ICT), Artificial Intelligence and preparedness to disasters, ecosystem and communities, smart cities and urban development. The research would also define the parameters of scientific preparedness, technology of mitigation and institutional accountability. Much of disaster prevention is about transparency, accountability, constitutional and environmental law which are helped through a basic understanding of geospatial sciences, Computational intelligence and community resilience. Those who are ready for a more versatile and contemporary thought processes are encouraged to apply.


Rubric of Courses

The four rubrics of transdisciplinary social sciences-based hazard/disaster studies has been designed around;

•    Governance and Legal framework: Instruments for Disasters, Relief and Response
•    Human Health and Well-being: Public Health, Epidemiology and Emergency Preparedness 
•    Social Science: Geography, Anthropology and Economics, Risk Resilient Communities
•    Technology Systems: geospatial, computational intelligence & database systems


Bachelor's degree in social sciences/natural sciences/physical sciences/biological sciences/clinical sciences/law/commerce/ any other professional stream with 55% marks from a recognized University/Institution. Government executives working in the field of disaster management are encouraged to apply.


Entrance Examination
Admission will be based on the performance of the student in a written OMR based examination. The entrance examination broadly covers the areas Constitution and Fundamentals of Indian Legal system, Social Science Perspectives of Disasters, Development and Disasters, Computer, Information and Communication Technologies, Health in Emergencies and Disasters and Ecology and Environment. The detailed information related to Entrance Examination including the syllabus is regularly published on Admissions section of


M.A. programme in Disaster Studies


Semester I (20)
•    Governance, Law and Institutions (4)
•    Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience: Theories, Concepts and Practices (4)
•    ICT and Database Systems (4)
•    Regional Geography of Hazards and Disasters in India (4)
•    Health and Disasters (4)


Semester II (20)
•    Legal frameworks for Disasters (4)
•    Remote Sensing, GIS for Disaster Management (4)
•    Disaster Epidemiology and Public Health Emergencies (4)
•    Research Methodology for DRR (4)
•    Community Based Disaster Management (4)


Semester III (24)
Core Courses

•    Summer internship (after Semester II) (2)
•    Fieldwork (2)

Elective Courses (Select any five courses)
•    Early Warning Systems and Computational Intelligence (4)
•    Disaster Challenges for Vulnerable Populations (4)
•    Disaster and Gender Concerns (4)
•    Ecosystem Approach for Disaster Risk Reduction (4)
•    Human Trafficking & Post Disaster Rehabilitation (4)
•    Big Data Analytics (4)
•    Human Security and DRR (4)
•    Humanitarian Aid and Disasters (4)
•    Universe of Disaster Research: Theory, Ethics and Trans-disciplinarity (4)
•    Disaster Economics, Project Management, Emergency Budgeting (4)
•    Environment, Climate Change and Occupational Health (4)
•    Disaster Risk Communication (4)


Semester IV (10)
•    MA Dissertation (10)

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.